Monday, September 13, 2010

Sheep to Shawl Competition

Saturday was the Sheep to Shawl competition at the Salmon Arm Fall Fair. The Shuswap Spinners and Weavers were our hosts and they put on a wonderful day for those of us competing in the event as well as a sale, display, weaving, carding and spinning demonstrations.

This year there was a major rule change – for the first time we supplied our own weft fleece and drum carders were allowed. This may seem like a minor change, but it made a huge difference. For the first time we could plan our shawl to include weft colours! This is the shawl that Ngaire and I planned and warped, the group chose to dye our corriedale handspun warp in gradations of red to yellow and we layed it in the warp randomly. We used natural brown romney lamb for the weft and we chose to do huck lace circles on six shafts.
There were only three teams of 6 this year, but the competition was fierce. The teams are made up of one weaver, one plyer and four spinners. Each team comes with their looms completely warped and over the course of four hours we spin, ply, weave and wet finish a 60” long shawl.
Much to our delight our team came in 1st with a score of 290 out of 300! We got full marks for everything, with a small deduction for selvedge mousing. There are only four of us in this photo as two members had to leave before judging. Right to left are Chris MacKenzie (spinner), Ngaire (weaver), Brenda Howe (plyer and drum carder) and me (spinner) with our blue ribbon! Missing from this photo is Kirsti Jarret and Susan Garvie both spinners.The Monashee Spinners and Weavers (my other spinning group!) had a stunning shawl in turned Atwater-Bronson lace in blocks of greyed red to yellow.The Shuswap Spinners and Weavers shawl was going to be wonderful, but alas, they did not get if off the loom in time. A complicated twill pattern in black and apricot.

Do you see something of a theme here? Yup, unknowingly we all chose the same colours! Something about fall makes one think of gold, orange and red doesn’t it?I just finished this shrug in a soft pink handspun wool for Ngaire. I love this pattern and this is the second time I’ve knit it.
There is something about the lace areas that make handspun yarn look great. Remember I used 2 foot of rigid insulation for blocking my weaving, this is a great use of the remaining 4 foot length!
Here are a few more photos of the Shuswap Weavers and Spinners display. The mauve shawl is in very fine wool and is double weave blocks, by master weaver Gudrun Weisinger.


Susan said...

Big congratulations to you and Ngaire and the entire Kelowna team!
The shawl is stunning!

Its hard to believe that its been a year since I was there with you all. That sure was a fun day!
(But I'll be seeing you soon :)

The shrug is so feminine and such a pretty colour. Ngaire is a lucky girl! That has to be the nicest use of handspun I have seen.


dorothylochmaben said...

Lynnette - I loved seeing the pictures of Sheep to Shawl ! I don't think we have that kind of competition over here. I loved the colours in your warp and the huck lace looked beautiful. What a great team effort ! Who gets to keep the shawl at the end ?

Delighted Hands said...

What a great accomplishment; congratulations to one and all. The shawl is stunning! The knitting is beautiful also.

Benita said...

Congratuations and with such a fancy pattern. You did very well!

Do you auction off the shawls whe you are done at your Sheep to Shawl?

Ngaire said...

Hi Dorothy,
The shawl will be displayed at the fair then it will come here to us where we will twist the fringe and bead it. The shawl will then be donated to a local charity where it will be used as a silent auction item. This is something that our guild does each year with the shawls.

Bruce said...

Congratulations are due to you and the team! What an exciting day for all of you. Your shawl is spectacular. I remember a "sheep to shawl" event a few years ago and it was non-stop tension (pardon the pun) until the winners were announced. Well've earned it.


Theresa said...

Congratulations! Beautiful work and the colors you all picked are wonderful. Those slippers in the last photo look grand.
What a pretty shrug too. Hope we see it being modeled at some point.

bspinner said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! I am so impress with the color and pattern. Do you sell them after the competitiion? We always auctioned ours off.

I've never been in a sheep to shawl where a drum carder was allowed or for that matter the number of team members. We were allowed a weaver, three spinners and a shearer and only 2 1/2 hours to complete a shawl.